RUTH. With a name meaning ‘conpassionate friend’, Ruth reminds me the depths of love possible between two people from different backgrounds
Her story also reassures me that what might be intended to harm me may make way for a new way for God to bless me.

Ruth married into a Jewish family which was living in another country due to falling on tough times. In a bizarre set of circumstances, all three men in the family fall ill and die. Leaving an older widow without her husband and two sons in a foreign land, and two young daughters in law without their spouses.

Certainly not the opening to the best story so far, is it? Grief and loss can squeeze the very life out of us if we aren’t careful, and Naomi, the older widow realizes she needs to return to Israel. She fully expects her lovely daughter in laws to both return to their families, but Ruth surprises her with one of the most love filled lines in the Bible.

“Where you go, I go.”

So to Israel they go, one returning Jew to her homeland and one foreigner leaving behind life as she has known it, adopting Naomi as her mother and following God as her Father, into the unknown.

Life is tough, with poverty and hunger a daily reality until Ruth is spotted, busy at work gleaming in the fields, by landowner Boaz, and someone points out they are distantly related, and how Ruth is so caring towards his relative Naomi.

He shows Ruth favor for her kindness, and Naomi realizes this might be a blessing to come despite their circumstances.

Long story short, Ruth, the foreigner from Moab, ends up marrying Boaz (son of Rahab & Salamon) and gives birth to future king David’s grandfather!

God wove this grieving foreigner into the tapestry of His story forever by not only restoring her but blessing her with more than she had lost.

One of my all time favorite books of the Bible, for I too have felt like a foreigner leaving home to marry, and endured sudden, unexpected loss & grief. Not exactly like Ruth, but enough that her story inspires me to keep moving on towards Him.

May we too keep our eyes on our Father and trust His ways even if we can’t see them in the midst of our current circumstances.

#SheBelongs #sharingHope

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